Skyrocketing Science with Stem Cells in Space

 

Do you think studying stem cells in space could possibly help us down on Earth? This might sound far out, but scientists are finding that researching stem cells outside our planet could help us better understand the physiological changes to astronauts in orbit and, more broadly, provide key insights about disease progression and treatment on Earth.

 

When stem cells are out of this world

Space travel plucks us away from the pull of Earth’s gravity and exposes us to solar radiation – novel conditions that provide new opportunities for research. While it is impractical to send a whole team of biologists to space, extraterrestrial physiology can still be studied by preparing cells on Earth, sending them to the International Space Station (ISS) and monitoring them remotely using automated experimental systems such as Space Tango’s CubeLab and NASA’s Bioculture System.

With these technologies, scientists sent human stem cell-derived heart cells to space for the first time in 2016 (see Figure 1). Dr. Joseph Wu, Stanford University, USA, found that these beating cells behaved differently in microgravity, yet returned to normal once back on earth. This study revealed the remarkable adaptability of human heart cells to changing environmental conditions, setting the stage for future experiments.

To take innovative stem cell research like Dr. Wu’s to the next level, NASA is constructing the Integrated Space Stem Cell Orbital Research (ISSCOR), a dedicated state-of-the-art stem cell lab within the ISS whose mission is to apply the power of stem cells in space to improve quality of life on Earth.

To read more, please click on the link below:

https://www.isscr.org/news-publicationsss/isscr-news-articles/blog-detail/stem-cells-in-focus/2021/11/05/skyrocketing-science-with-stem-cells-in-space

 

 

Stem cells: a revolution in therapeutics-recent advances in stem cell biology and their therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine and cancer therapies

 

Basic and clinical research accomplished during the last few years on embryonic, fetal, amniotic, umbilical cord blood, and adult stem cells has constituted a revolution in regenerative medicine and cancer therapies by providing the possibility of generating multiple therapeutically useful cell types. These new cells could be used for treating numerous genetic and degenerative disorders. Among them, age-related functional defects, hematopoietic and immune system disorders, heart failures, chronic liver injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, arthritis, and muscular, skin, lung, eye, and digestive disorders as well as aggressive and recurrent cancers could be successfully treated by stem cell-based therapies. This review focuses on the recent advancements in adult stem cell biology in normal and pathological conditions. We describe how these results have improved our understanding on critical and unique functions of these rare sub-populations of multipotent and undifferentiated cells with an unlimited self-renewal capacity and high plasticity. Finally, we discuss some major advances to translate the experimental models on ex vivo and in vivo expanded and/or differentiated stem cells into clinical applications for the development of novel cellular therapies aimed at repairing genetically altered or damaged tissues/organs in humans. A particular emphasis is made on the therapeutic potential of different tissue-resident adult stem cell types and their in vivo modulation for treating and curing specific pathological disorders.

To read more, click below:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17671448/

 

Stem Cell Therapy For Knees

Stem cell therapy for knees has the potential to provide relief to a lot of people. Knee pain is an common condition that affects millions of Americans and people around the world. Considering the daily load that legs bear, a problem with your knees can limit movement. Knee pain can substantially reduce your quality of life and anti-inflammatory medication can only do so much. Suffice it to say, there exists significant interest in finding solutions to address knee pain and to restore healthy joint function. That’s where stem cell therapy for knees comes in!

To read the entire article, please click on the link below:

Stem Cell Therapy For Knees

 

Importance of Stem Cells

Stem cells are important for living organisms for many reasons. In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst, the inner cells give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all of the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lung, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease.

Given their unique regenerative abilities, stem cells offer new potentials for treating diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease. However, much work remains to be done in the laboratory and the clinic to understand how to use these cells for cell-based therapies to treat disease, which is also referred to as regenerative or reparative medicine.

Laboratory studies of stem cells enable scientists to learn about the cells’ essential properties and what makes them different from specialized cell types. Scientists are already using stem cells in the laboratory to screen new drugs and to develop model systems to study normal growth and identify the causes of birth defects.

Research on stem cells continues to advance knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells replace damaged cells in adult organisms. Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating areas of contemporary biology, but, as with many expanding fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as rapidly as it generates new discoveries.

To read the entire article, please click on the link below:

https://www.unmc.edu/stemcells/educational-resources/importance.html

Aided by stem cells, a lizard regenerates a perfect tail for first time in more than 250 million years

 

Lizards can regrow severed tails, making them the closest relative to humans that can regenerate a lost appendage. But in lieu of the original tail that includes a spinal column and nerves, the replacement structure is an imperfect cartilage tube. Now, for the first time, a USC-led study in Nature Communications describes how stem cells can help lizards regenerate better tails.

“This is one of the only cases where the regeneration of an appendage has been significantly improved through stem cell-based therapy in any reptile, bird or mammal, and it informs efforts to improve wound healing in humans,” said the study’s corresponding author Thomas Lozito, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

These new and improved lizard tails exhibit what is known as “dorsoventral patterning” — meaning they have skeletal and nerve tissue on the upper or dorsal side, and cartilage tissue on the lower or ventral side.

“Lizards have been around for more than 250 million years, and in all that time no lizard has ever regrown a tail with dorsoventral patterning, until now,” said Lozito. “My lab has created the first regenerated lizard tails with patterned skeletons.”

To achieve this, the team of scientists from the medical schools at USC and the University of Pittsburgh analyzed how lizard tails form during adult regeneration, compared to embryonic development. In both cases, neural stem cells or NSCs — the stem cells that build the nervous system — play a central role.

Adult NSCs produce a molecular signal that blocks skeletal and nerve formation and encourages cartilage growth, effectively “ventralizing” both sides of the tail. This results in the cartilage tube typical of regenerated tails.

To read the entire article, please click on the link below:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/10/211014141958.htm